MARCH is DVT AWARENESS MONTHNearly 10 years ago as a way of finding meaning to the death of her husband, David Bloom, Melanie set out to raise the public’s awareness about DVT. In 2003 David (age 39) was a NBC news anchor covering the war in Iraq and unknowingly developed a DVT which broke loose and became a Pulmonary Embolism that took his life. At the time he died only 26% of the population of the United States had even heard of a Pulmonary Embolism. Melanie, sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis (a drug company which makes a DVT Therapy), established March as National DVT Awareness Month and raised the awareness of DVT by 20% in 10 years. Wednesday morning Melanie and Dr.Geno Merli, a clinical professor at Jefferson University and co-director of the Jefferson Vascular Center, were on The Today Show to emphasize the personal risk factors and symptoms of DVT. Some of these risk factors include obesity, age, cancer, medications, injury, surgery, illness, pregnancy, smoking, heredity, and prolonged immobility. Warning signs of DVT include pain, swelling, tenderness, discoloration or redness in the affected area, and skin warm to touch. Symptoms of pulmonary embolisms include shortness of breath, an apprehensive feeling, chest pain, rapid pulse, sweating, or a bloody cough. It is important to know if you have personal risk factors of DVT because 50% of the time there are no symptoms. In the United States, DVT or pulmonary embolism affects 300,000 to 600,000 people a year and 60,000 to 100,000 die each year. Not all of the personal risk factors can be changed, but change the ones you can such as loose weight, quit smoking, become more physically active, and be aware that you are at risk of DVT and Pulmonary Embolism. Above all wear your compression stockings, or socks especially when you travel, have surgery, or become pregnant.